Students receive donated computers thanks to local foundation – C&G Newspapers

Students receive donated computers thanks to local foundation – C&G Newspapers

South Lake Superintendent Ted Von Hiltmayer stands with laptop computers donated by Human-I-T Detroit and the We Are Here Foundation.

Photo provided by Tom Cleaver


MACOMB COUNTY —Thirty students will receive brand-new laptop computers, thanks to a partnership with Human-I-T Detroit and the We Are Here Foundation.

Human-I-T Detroit works with companies that donate their computers to the organization, which then repairs and refurbishes them, and wipes the data before donating them to those in need of new devices.

“Our goal is to make an impact to close the digital divide (by donating devices), helping them connect to affordable internet connections, helping them with tech support and helping them with training,” said Leo Kowalyk, senior business development executive with Human-I-T Detroit.

The organization began nine years ago; a Detroit office opened in August 2020. In addition to helping bridge the digital divide, its efforts keep technology out of landfills to help protect the planet.

Working with the We Are Here Foundation of Mount Clemens, Human-I-T Detroit donated 30 Acer TravelMate Spin B1 laptops to students in St. Clair Shores: 10 each to South Lake Schools, Lakeview Public Schools and Lake Shore Public Schools. Tom Cleaver, of the We Are Here Foundation, said they hoped the computers could be given to high-achieving students for use in school and college studies.

“They had reached out to us and said they wanted us to identify 10 students that have been doing well in school,” said South Lake Superintendent Ted Von Hiltmayer. He said they were doing so and hoped to be able to give the students the computers before the holidays.

Students in South Lake Schools each receive an iPad to be used for school while they attend the district, but Von Hiltmayer said the two foundations asked them to give the laptops to juniors and seniors in high school who might be able to make use of the devices in college.

“Our devices, when a student graduates, it gets returned. This will be something they can utilize as they move on, whatever they’re doing post-secondary,” Von Hiltmayer said.

Not every student in Lakeview Public Schools receives a device from the district, so Superintendent Karl Paulson said the timing of the donation was great.

“It’s timely in the sense that we already identify families that are in need” around the holidays, he said in December. “Our schools and our central staff all adopt families that are in need. It’s kind of easy to identify families because we’re already doing it for those reasons.”

While the district loans computers out to families where students do not have home access to a device, the donation could be of more use to the student and entire family, he said.

“It doesn’t have to have the same restrictions that a device we put in the kids’ hands are going to have,” he said.

Kowalyk said they make sure whatever they are donating will be usable for the foreseeable future. Sometimes, he said, Human-I-T Detroit will resell the computers, servers or other equipment that is donated and use the …….